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New Zealand spinners dent Bangladesh on Day 1

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Glenn Phillips was the star of New Zealand's bowlers with a four-fer

New Zealand’s plan of beating Bangladesh at their own game at home – has started off well, even as Bangladesh got to 310 runs on Day 1 in Sylhet. Glenn Phillips turned up to be the hero for the visitors as he picked four wickets, while Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel accounted for three more, as Bangladesh lost nine wickets on the opening day.

Bangladesh ended up on the right side of the toss and as expected decided to pile on the runs. Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Zakir Hasan even saw off 10 overs of fast bowling before the latter became the first of the seven casualties to spin bowling. Ajaz Patel slipped a quicker one through that beat Zakir’s attempt to cut and hit the off-stump. Najmul Hossain Shanto arrived with the intention of throwing New Zealand’s spinners off their rhythm as he took on Ajaz. However, Bangladesh’s woes began right at the end of the opening session when Shanto miscued an innocuous full-toss from Phillips while giving him the charge, and hit to Kane Williamson at mid-on.

Mahmudul and Mominul Haque led Bangladesh’s recovery, even as they survived a couple of nicks that flew between the New Zealand slip cordon. The pair batted out majority of the second session, establishing a solid base for Bangladesh to construct a big innings on, with a stand worth 88 runs but once again, Phillips put a spanner in the works with the wicket of Mominul.

He too, like Shanto against Ajaz, went for a cut on a ball that wasn’t there for that shot and ended up nicking it to Tom Blundell behind the stumps. Soon after, Ish Sodhi got the well-set Mahmudul to nick one behind towards Daryl Mitchell at slip, who did extremely well to get his hands under the ball while diving to his right. Bangladesh went to Tea at 184 for 4, and then spiralled even further in the post-Tea session as the ball started to turn a lot more as the day went on.

To their credit, all of the lower-order batters for Bangladesh got starts but none could carry on till stumps to give Bangladesh the early upper hand in the fixture. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shahadat Hossain dragged Bangladesh past the 200-run mark but once again Phillips broke through with the former’s wicket. Mushfiqur gave Phillips the charge and went big, but mistimed it to Williamson at mid-on.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz looked solid for his 20 until a bout of indecision led to him edging one from Kyle Jamieson to Daryl Mitchell at slips. Bangladesh then lost wickets for every 20-odd runs they added as they went from 233 for 6 to 290 for 9.

New Zealand’s hopes of wrapping up the innings on Day 1 didn’t come through though as Taijul Islam and Shoriful Islam batted out 3.1 overs and hit four boundaries in them to take the team past 300. Bad light then intervened, bringing a slightly early end to the day’s proceedings with 85 overs bowled. New Zealand will head back with the joy of having spun a web around Bangladesh’s batting order, but with the surface getting better for spinners, their real progress in the fixture will depend on how well they bat.

Brief Scores:
Bangladesh 310/9 (Mahmudul Hasan Joy 86, Najmul Hossain Shanto 37, Mominul Haque 37; Glenn Phillips 4-53, Ajaz Patel 2-76) vs New Zealand



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Agriculture and tourism key sectors for the nation’s swift recovery- President

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Addressing the 37th session of the Asia and Pacific Regional Conference (APRC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Colombo today (20), President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed the government’s dedication to elevating Sri Lanka as a prominent exporter of agricultural produce through rapid agricultural sector transformation. He emphasized the pivotal role agriculture played in navigating Sri Lanka through the previous economic crisis and highlighted agriculture and tourism as key sectors for the nation’s swift recovery.

The conference, which commenced on the 19th of February in Colombo with the participation of diplomats and representatives from 34 countries including the United States, China, and Russia, will conclude tomorrow (21). Sri Lanka’s chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific region of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization will extend from now until 2026.

This year’s conference, themed “Transformation of the Agro-Food System,” will delve into key areas such as promoting nutritious food production, ensuring food security, enhancing food production, safeguarding the environment, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change risks.

Sri Lanka hosted the 2nd Asia and Pacific Regional Conference in 1955.

(PMD)

 

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2024 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Day to be held on 10th March

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The Cabinet of Ministers was informed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs that actions were being taken to hold the 2024 Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Day at the Gall Face, grounds on  10th March with the participation of  Diplomatic missions of member countries, partner states and a large number of school students from all provinces of the island.

The theme for 2024 IORA Day is  “A Sustainable Indian Ocean for Future Generation

 

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Mathews, Hasaranga all-round show helps Sri Lanka seal series

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Sri Lanka won the second T20I by 72 runs

Angelo Mathews and Wanindu Hasaranga’s brilliant all-round show, well complimented by a steady half-century from Sadeera Samarawickrama, helped Sri Lanka prolong Afghanistan’s winless streak on in the ongoing multi-format tour and seal the T20I series 2-0 with a game to go. Sri Lanka posted a commanding 187/6 riding on the back of Samarawickrama’s fifty and cameos from the two all-rounders. However, Mathews opened the bowling as well after his unbeaten knock and triggered a top-order collapse that the visitors failed to recover from, eventually collapsing to 115 all out in reply.

Put in to bat first, the Sri Lankan openers got their team off to a flying start with a quickfire 45-run stand in under four overs. The pair launched a flurry of boundaries – they hit nine between them – as the hosts quickly raced away before Azmatulllah got the much needed breakthrough for Afghanistan by trapping Pathum Nissanka LBW. Kusal Mendis fell three balls later, as Afghanistan dented their progress.

Losing both set openers, and then Dhananjaya da Silva, in quick succession set was a setback Sri Lanka needed to quickly recover from and Samarawickrama came to the rescue with a steady half-century and caemos around it gave Sri Lanka firm control of proceedings. First, it was Wanindu Hasaranga who smacked a couple of sixes in his 9-ball stay for 22. And later it was Mathews who hammered four maximums and two more boundaries, chipping in an invaluable 42* in just 22 balls. His knock, that helped Sri Lanka plunder 49 runs in just the last three overs, proved the turning point as the hosts finished with a daunting 187 on the board.

Fresh off his batting heroics, Mathews picked up the new ball and delivered in the very first over by having Hazratullah Zazai caught behind. He accounted for the Afghanistan skipper, Ibrahim Zadran, as well in his following over, finishing his brief powerplay spell with impressive figures of 2-9 as Afghanistan slipped to 19/2. To make matters worse, Binura Fernando struck twice in the fifth over to make it 31/5 and Afghanistan were eventually at the point of no return.

The 39-run stand that ensued between Mohammad Nabi (27) and Karim Janat (28) was probably the only thing to write home about in all of Afghanistan’s chase. Nabi in particular was aggressive during his 17-ball 27, hitting a couple of sixes, but the target in front of them was too tall a mountain to climb. Hasaranga and Pathirana wrapped up the tail fairly quickly once the stubborn sixth-wicket stand was broken by Dasun Shanaka and Afghanistan fell a staggering 72 runs short.

Brief scores:
Sri Lanka 187/6 in 20 overs (Pathum Nissanka 25, Kusal Mendis 23, Sadeera Samarawickrama 51, Wanidu Hasaranga 22, Angelo Mathews 42*; Fazalhaq Farooki 1-31, Azmatullah Omarzai 2-40, Naveen-ul-Haq 1-46,  Mohammed Nabi 2-25) beat  Afghanistan 115 all out in 17 overs (Karim Janat 28, Mohammad Nabi 27; Angelo Mathews 2-9, Binura Fernando 2-18, Maheesh Theekshana 1-30,  Wanindu Hasaranga 2-19, Matheesha Pathirana 2-22, Dasun Shanaka 1-17 ) by 72 runs

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